Mahakaleshwar temple at Ujjain is an important pilgrimage place for Hindus as it’s said to be one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. It’s also regarded as one of the top 10 Tantra temples of India, and has the only Bhasm-Aarti (ash ritual) of its kind in the world.
An ancient city situated on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River, Ujjain was the most prominent city on the Malwa plateau of central India for much of its history. It emerged as the political centre of central India around 600 BCE. It was the capital of the ancient Avanti kingdom, one of the sixteen mahajanapadas. It is an important place of pilgrimage for Shaivites, Vaishnavites and followers of Shakta. It is a known Hindu pilgrimage centre with the Kumbh Mela held here every 12 years.
It can only be termed as a blessing, by Lords and mother nature, that Omkareshwar, the sacred island called Mandhata or Shivapuri in the Narmada river, is shaped like ॐ (Om) – the holiest symbol of Hinduism. Not surprising then that this serene town is also one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines in India. Pilgrims in unimaginable numbers visit the shrine every year, seeking the blessings of Lord Shiva.
The Teesta River originates in the Himalayas and flows through the Indian States of Sikkim and West Bengal before entering Bangladesh, where it flows into the Brahmaputra. Flowing through the length of Sikkim, the Teesta River is considered to be the lifeline of the state. The Teesta valley in Sikkim is rich in biodiversity, and the river provides livelihoods for the residents along its entire length of 393 km.
I was on my night duty. It was a busy night. Early in the morning, I was feeling a bit tired. I just jotted down a few lines in Hindi randomly. It turned out to be a poem, which I am posting here.
Malana is an ancient Indian village in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Much before going to Malana village, I had read quite a lot about it. This solitary village in the Malana Nala, a side valley of the Parvati Valley to the north-east of Kullu Valley, is isolated from the rest of the world. The peaks of Chanderkhani and Deo Tibba shadow the village. It is situated on a remote plateau by the side of the torrential Malana river, at a height of around 10,000 feet above sea level. Malana has its own lifestyle and social structure and people are strict in following their customs.
Ninety-eight years ago, one of the bloodiest actions of British rule was the calculated massacre of close to 2,000 innocent Indians at the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar (Punjab). The firing was ordered by an officer of the British colonial power, General Dyer. While the official figure for lives lost was 1,526 the actual figure was reportedly much higher.
On the evening of November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetised all 500 and 1000 rupee notes with immediate effect. All Banks and ATMs were closed on November 9 to make necessary arrangements. ATMs reopened today and are only dispensing notes worth 2000 rupees.